5 Myths About "Text to Give" You Probably Thought Were True


If you live on planet Earth and have been paying attention over the last several years, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “text to give”.  Organizations like the Red Cross have made this method of sending donations by text message a household concept through campaigns like the 2010 Haiti earthquake relief.  During this campaign, donors texted to a number to donate $5, which was charged to their cell phone bill.  These donations are called carrier-collected donations.

Since then, “text to give” has become a more generic term used to describe the act of giving by text, and is not necessarily related to donations charged to a cell phone bill.

I’m about to drop some knowledge on you, and dispel some of the blanket assumptions, or “myths” as I call them, surrounding “text to give”.

Myth #1: Donations are charged to the donor’s cell phone bill

As mentioned above, some text to give programs allow you to charge donations to the donor’s cell phone bill.  This might seem like a good idea at first.  It’s easy for the donor.  There’s no credit card needed.  Life is good, right?

“But what happens if the person doesn’t pay their phone bill?” Great question!  Glad you asked :)

I’m sure you can probably guess the answer to that question, but just in case you’re reading this early in the morning and haven’t had your coffee yet to wake up your brain, let me just tell you.  The would-be recipient of that donation (i.e. your organization) would get nothing.  Nada.  Zilch!

There are other big downsides to carrier-collected donations that I will talk about more in Myths #3 and #5, but don’t skip down there yet!

In contrast to carrier-collected donations, donations made through our platform are charged to the donor’s debit or credit card.  Not the phone bill.  This means your organization gets the donation money independent of whether or not the donor pays their cell phone bill.

Myth #2: Startup costs are high

With traditional text-to-give programs, there is a pretty hefty startup fee that must be paid by the organization just to get the ball rolling.

How much, you ask?  Try $500!

That’s a lot of dough that your organization could be using for other things instead, not to mention it’s a lot to fork over in the beginning before you even receive one donation.  Add on top of that fees of 5-10% taken from the donation, and you can see why most churches and non-profits have historically steered clear of text donations.

But not all text donations are created equal!  With Txt2Give, there are no startup fees.  In fact, you’ll get a 30 day FREE trial to evaluate our service and see how your donors respond to text giving.  If it doesn’t work out, then you’re out no money.  We part as friends and unicorns everywhere rejoice!  Seriously, there really is no downside or risk to give it a try.

Myth #3: There’s a 90-day turn-around time for receiving funds

When a donor gives by text through carrier-collected programs, it can take up to 90 days for your organization to receive the funds!  What could a church or non-profit be doing with that money in the mean time?  A lot of good in the world, that’s what.

Also, if your organization wanted to do a last-minute, time-sensitive campaign for some kind of disaster or emergency-type situation?  Forget about it.  By the time you got the money, it’d be too late.

Here’s another area where we can help.  When your donors give through Txt2Give, your organization will receive the funds in 2 business days (7, if in Canada).  This is much quicker, and will allow that money to be put to it’s intended use fast!

Myth #4: Yearly revenue requirements exclude us from eligibility

To qualify for carrier-collected programs, an organization must meet a yearly revenue requirement of $250,000.  Yeah, that sound you hear?  It’s the sighs of people everywhere (probably you too!) because their small church or non-profit comes nowhere close to that.

But never fear!  We can help :)

There are no rigid revenue requirements with Txt2Give.  Whether your organization brings in $1 or $1M per year, you can use Txt2Give, and we’d be honored to serve you!

Myth #5: Donation amounts are small

Any amount someone gives is appreciated, and can be put to good use helping further your cause.  But the more we all give, the more good we can do.  If your church or non-profit is limited to $5 and $10 donations, as is the case with some text to give programs, this reduces the effectiveness of your campaign.

What if someone wants to give more than $10 with carrier-collected text giving?  Well, they can give multiple times, but even then the carriers cap the number of times each person can give per month, and it’s a low number.  And the whole point of giving by text is convenience.  Having to give multiple times just so we can give more is not very convenient, is it?

Again, in stark contrast to this, there is no dollar amount cap with Txt2Give.  The only cap is the limit on the donor’s debit or credit card, and that’s usually far and beyond $10.  In fact, the average donation amount we see through our platform here is $110!  Even if the carriers allowed it (which they don’t), how many people do you think would give 11 times just to reach that average amount?  Probably none.  With carrier-collected donations, you are almost certainly leaving donation dollars on the table.

I hope this has been helpful in shedding some light on common blanket assumptions surrounding “text to give”.

If your organization has tried traditional, carrier-collected text to give programs in the past, let me know what your experience was in the comments below.

Also, if your church or non- profit is interested in learning more about Txt2Give and what we can do for you, get in touch today!  You can also head on over to our website and learn more, or get started with the 30 day FREE trial.